Carnegie Voluntary Savings Plan

Save more for your retirement with a 403(b) Voluntary Savings retirement plan and meet your savings goals faster. You contribute a fixed dollar amount each pay period, up to the IRS limit. 

Carnegie does not match these contributions or contribute to this account.

  • Participants may make pretax contributions
  • Maximum employee elective contribution is $20,500 for 2022 and $22,500 for 2023.
  • Employee catch-up contribution (If age 50 or older by year end is $6,500 for 2022 and $7,500 for 2023)
  • Contributions are made via payroll deduction 


The following classifications are eligible to participate in the 403(b) plan.

  • Regular Full-time Employees
  • Regular Part-time Employees working 20 hours or more weekly
  • Regular Part-time Employees working 20 hours or less weekly
  • Temporary Employees 
  • Postdoctoral and Predoctoral Associates
  • Postdoctoral and Predoctoral Research Associates
  • Postdoctoral Fellows

The following classifications are NOT eligible to participate in the 403(b) plan.

  • Visiting Investigators
  • Visiting Scholars
  • Visiting Fellows
  • Visiting Researchers
  • Visiting Scientists
  • Students
  • Volunteers
  • Contractors
  • Interns

Eligible Compensation

You must receive earned compensation reportable on a W-2 and subject to federal, state, and FICA tax to be eligible to contribute to the 403(b) plan.

Examples of compensation that may be contributed:

  • Base salary and wages

Examples of ineligible compensation:

  • Fellowship, scholarship, and stipends
  • Long-term disability plan benefit payments
  • Worker’s Compensation

Your Contribution Limit

The Internal Revenue Code limits the total amount of contributions that may be made to all retirement plans you have across all employers.

  • For calendar year 2022 the maximum employee elective contribution is $20,500. Employees age 50 or older may contribute up to an additional $6,500 for a total of $27,000.
  • For calendar year 2023 the maximum employee elective contribution is $22,500. Employees age 50 or older may contribute up to an additional $7,500 for a total of $30,000.

How to Enroll or Make Changes Throughout the Year

  1. To set up an account go to:
  2. Select “Carnegie Institution of Washington TDA Plan"
  3. If prompted, use the Access Code 150341 which pre-populates in that field
  4. Scroll down to "Enroll or make changes in your plan today" and click the "Get started" button to login
  5. Enroll and/or update your contribution amounts and/or percentages directly on the website

Investment Contribution Options - Pre-tax and Roth (After-Tax) Options

Carnegie Institution for Science partners with TIAA for all retirement savings plan options.  You may invest your funds with TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association). Contributions may be allocated among the approved investment funds offered.

Pre-Tax Option. Contributions to a TDA plan are usually made before taxes. This means your contributions reduce your current taxable income and the taxes you currently owe. In addition to the contributions being tax deferred, any earnings on your 403(b) plan are also tax deferred. This means that your savings have the potential to grow faster because your contributions and investment earnings aren’t taxed until you withdraw them as income, usually at retirement. Pretax contributions may be a good choice if you think your tax rates will decrease after you retire.

After-Tax Option. Carnegie also allows you to make contributions after taxes are taken out, known as “Roth contributions.” Generally, these after-tax Roth contributions and their earnings can be withdrawn tax free, as long as you’re at least age 59½ and your Roth account is at least five years old. After-tax Roth contributions may be a good choice if you think your tax rates will stay the same or increase after you retire. All amounts held in your Roth retirement savings account are tax-deferred. This means you pay no income taxes on your Retirement plan benefits until you receive payments from the plan.

Fund Selection

IMPORTANT: New 403(b) plan participants are initially set up for the automatic increase feature. This means that unless you opt out, your contributions will increase by 1% on July 1st of every year, until a maximum contribution rate of 10% is reached.

If you do not specify the particular funds in which you want to invest in, your contributions will be directed to the appropriate TIAA Retirement Fund.

If you would like to change your fund selection, you may do so by logging into TIAA directly at


Log in to your TIAA account and confirm your beneficiary designations. It is important that your designated primary and contingent beneficiary information is updated and current. It may impact your desired beneficiary's ability to receive your assets in the event of your death.

TIAA Website

Contact TIAA directly for these inquiries and services:

  • Open your retirement account(s)
  • Name, verify or change your beneficiary
  • Select your investment funds and questions/help choosing a fund
  • Account and income information
  • Brochures and booklets on services and financial planning
  • Change of address
  • Change your Personal Identification
  • Divorce, Qualified Domestic Relations Order
  • Forms for cash withdrawals, rollover, transfers, income options
  • Income and payment methods (lifetime annuity, cash out, interest)
  • Schedule individual counseling; register for workshops
  • Tax questions (withdrawal penalty, minimum distribution, federal withholding)


Retirement Plan Resources